Why Emirates’ Legendary First-class Suites Are Worth the Splurge — From Unlimited Caviar to Onboard Showers

Here’s what to expect when you’re flying in first class with Emirates.

First class configuration in A380

Courtesy of Emirates

While flying first class is synonymous with luxury, the overall experience varies significantly depending on the airline, aircraft, and flight length, sometimes leaving fliers wondering if that cushy seat is worth the price. That said, a few airlines have gone to great lengths to develop — and continuously innovate — a first-class cabin that’s worth every penny. Emirates is on that list. 

Founded in 1985 by Dubai’s royal family, the airline has created an entire brand around long-haul luxury travel. While its hub is in the UAE, Emirates flies to 157 different destinations across 83 countries. In the United States, there are 12 airports — including John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Los Angeles International Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and Miami International Airport — with direct flights to Dubai. Cabin classes include economy, premium economy, business, and, of course, first class. Described by the airline as “having your own private hotel room in the sky” on the Boeing 777 and “as close as it comes to your own private jet” on the Airbus A380, a first-class ticket on Emirates comes with a unique set of features and services. From unlimited caviar to a shower spa, here’s what you can expect. 

Emirates Airport Experience

Booking a ride to or from the airport can often be stressful, especially with limited cars or surge pricing during peak hours. If you’re flying in first class, though, you’ll be all set. Emirates offers a Mercedes-Benz S450 chauffeur service — which can be arranged at least 12 hours ahead of your flight — that is complimentary for up to 50 miles. Any distance outside of the mileage limit will incur a fee.

First Class Lounge

Courtesy of Emirates

Emirates has lounges in more than 30 airports, each offering meals and access to showers; some even have direct boarding, as well. Most passengers will check in through priority lines at the airport, but those flying out of Dubai International Airport or Sharjah International Airport can take advantage of the at-home check-in service. DUBZ transportation agents meet you wherever — at home, your hotel, your office — to complete the check-in process and transport your bags to the airport.  

If you’re flying out of Dubai, you’ll have access to the airline’s first-class lounge. Here, you can  take advantage of free Wi-Fi, à la carte dining, a cigar bar, a wine cellar, quiet areas, a duty-free boutique, showers (with towels, luxury toiletries, and hair dryers), and even a free 15-minute spa treatment. When it comes time to embark, passengers can board the plane directly from the lounge. 

Emirates First-class Suites

The first-class seat — although it’s technically more of a suite — is slightly different on the Airbus A380 versus the Boeing 777. Both are equipped with luxurious touches that provide top-tier privacy and comfort, including ambient light controls, free Wi-Fi, vanities, snacks, minibars, and widescreen TVs with over 5,000 channels. Once aboard, you’ll be able to close your door and create an enclosed suite. If you’re looking to get some shut-eye, the cabin crew will convert your seat into a lay-flat bed complete with sheets and a pillow. No worries if you forgot your pajamas, as a set of  moisturizing sleepwear (the clothes contain shea butter and argan oil that release when you move) is provided to each first-class flier.  

First class room on 300ER

Courtesy of Emirates

While the A380 and the Boeing 777 have many similarities, the suite on the latter aircraft has a few other defining characteristics. The seat itself was designed using NASA technology, and the zero-gravity setting allows for total relaxation. Passengers can also put in requests to the flight attendants via video call from the comfort of their suite. Finally, the cabin in the Boeing 777 grants outside views to everyone in first class — even those who don’t have a window seat. Through HD virtual windows, passengers seated in the middle suites can still see what’s happening outside the plane. 

In-flight Amenities

Each first-class seat comes with a Bulgari amenity kit, a feature also available to those in business class. Emirates first-class customers, however, are also gifted the exclusive Bvlgari Le Gemme fragrance and a range of Byredo skincare products. 

You’ll be hard-pressed to leave your comfortable seat during the flight, but if you’re on the Airbus A380, you’ll want to check out the onboard lounge where the airline serves wine, spirits, soft drinks, and pre-packaged bites and snacks. The lounge is available to business class as well, but first-class passengers are the only ones who can enjoy the A380’s shower spa. Yes, you can shower at 40,000 feet and arrive at your destination feeling extra fresh and clean. 

First class meal in A380

Courtesy of Emirates

Emirates Suite Food and Drink Menus

Part of the Emirates’ touch is going above and beyond with culinary offerings. One of the most notable aspects is the flexibility; all meals are brought out based on your schedule and preferences through the “dine on demand” service. The regionally inspired menus change on a monthly basis but always include halal-certified cuisine and vegan offerings. While a three-course meal is available on all short, medium, and long-haul flights, first-class passengers can also order from the “cinema in the sky” snack menu, featuring selections like lobster rolls, edamame, and salted popcorn. For something a bit fancier, passengers can also partake in the Champagne and caviar experience— as of 2022, you can order unlimited portions of Persian caviar paired with Dom Perignon, of course. 

The drinks program extends into wine as well. The options are extensive — including a rotating selection of limited-edition offerings — but those in first class are only served wines that have remained in the Emirates cellar for an average of 12-15 years after purchase.

For more information on the first-class services and offerings aboard the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777, head to Emirates.com.

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